When I started planning my move here to England I quickly contacted my friend Matt from Jr. High who I knew lived in Manchester. We had seen each other rarely since Jr. High, but kept in touch through myspace and facebook. Last year we got together to attend Hello, Dolly! at our Jr. High because 10 years ago we both starred that at same productions at KMS... him as Horace and me as Dolly. So we emailed back and forth planning on getting together to hang out in London sometime. Well, a couple months back, Matt emailed me and told me our old Chorus teach, Ms. Hackman (Julie) was coming for a visit and he though it would be so much fun to surprise her with ME!!! She was gonna be spending the week with him in Manchester, but he was planning on coming to London to pick her up and then pay a visit to the British Museum, to which she had never been. I was SO excited and OF COURSE on board! It then turned into a whole weekend of hanging out with Matt. I met him in the city Saturday afternoon and didn't get home until Sunday night - late. It was a blast... I haven't laughed so hard and long like that in a while.
So on saturday, I wasn't due to meet Matt until around 5pm, so I decided to go into the city early and hit up The Natural History Museum (dinosaurs, mammal displays, ecology exhibits, etc). I got off the tube at South Kensington and what should be smack dab in the middle of?? London's Fashion Week
It was happening right out front the museum and you needed a ticket to get in... bummer. So I continued on to see the dinosaurs
Now I don't much care for the eco-exhibits about rain forests and biology and I have had my fill of anatomy... but I'll admit I am a sucker for Dinosaurs, so I wound by way through all the skeletons to the dinosaur exhibit -
unfortunately everyone else of a saturday wanted to see the dinosaurs as well so it was INCREDIBLY crowded... but I discovered something about myself in the dinosaur exhibit... I love children... and I really enjoy museums... I DO NOT however like them together... and its not actually the kids that bother me the most... it's the parents, who ram my ankles over and over again with their stroller... or the ones who don't seem to notice that they child is throwing pieces of the museum map at me or the dinosaur skeletons. I couldn't stay their much longer, so I popped into the mammal exhibit
and then I left... After many train delays and a tube line closure, I finally made it to Stonebridge park station around 6pm... later than planned, but Matt and I had no where we needed to be, so all was good. Oh, Stonebridge - what a magical place you are. Actually Stonebridge is quite shady... lots of litter lining the street, a biker bar, some factories, a travelodge with a sign that blinks. Matt met me at the station and we walked back to hotel to drop my stuff off. Then we hopped on the train to Picadilly circus for some dinner and a movie! I love Matt... it was like no time had passed from when we were in Jr. High... we were the same people! We probably scared a lot of people on the tube, but it was worth it... we came up with a whole story about Raptors on the underground, and I serenaded him on the train much to his dismay as well as the other people there. I seriously laughed till I cried all night.
We decided we wanted to see Watchmen and so we went to the Odeon in Leicester Square (where all the London premieres for movies takes place) and bought tickets. Then we went to dinner at Wagamama.
Outside the Odeon theater... Matt is trying to get all the tourists to think there is something worth taking a picture of here
I laughed so hard at something I just sat down in the middle of Leicester Square
Helena Bonham-Carter's handprints... I'm not even a fan, but why not.
matt and I
After Watchmen (which I am still not sure if I liked or not) Matt and I went back to stonebridge... This is the actual stone bridge... which says Ferodo on it. We decided that Ferodo is a distant relative of Frodo and he founded Stonebridge...
I slept like a LOG that night... I seriously forgot where I was. It makes me realize how lame my room at Founder's really is. Basically it was just nice to not have ten 18 year old girls running up and down the hall banging on each other's doors.
Some pictures in tribute to Stonebridge:
Anyway, Matt and I parted ways in the morning for him to go pick up Julie from the train Station and I occupied my time with more museums!! I made my way to Trafalgar Square to hit up the National Gallery (paintings) and the National Portrait Gallery (paintings of people + some photography).
Notice Big Ben in the background
They don't allow pictures in the national Gallery. I walked through every room, all the way from the 15th to the 19th century. I didn't much like anything till the 18th and 19th century when I saw Rembrant, Renoir, Seurat, Van Gogh and Monet. I bought a bunch of postcards of my favorites. Then on to the portrait gallery. The photography was pretty cool - famous celebrities all photographed really artsy-like. The portrait paintings were sadly lacking however... nothing I hadn't seen lining the pages of every history book ever read. They do however have the original only portrait of Shakespeare... that was cool.
I didn't stay long at the portrait gallery, because I had to head to the British museum to meet and surprise Matt and Julie.
I sat on those stairs and waiting to see them walk in. When I saw them walk in I simply got up and walked toward them. Julie saw me, smiled really big and ran up and gave me a HUGE hug. Then she laughed for like 5 minutes (it echoed all around the marble room). It was awesome. We got some tea and cookies from the cafe, caught up on life quickly and then we proceeded to walk all around the British museum. Coolest part - the Rosetta Stone
Matt and Julie
Unfortunately a lot of the pictures of me and Julie and me and Matt are on either Matt or Julie's camera... hopefully I'll get those soon.
But here are some other cool things in the British Museum
A longing gaze
Armless, Legless, Headless, lady... so sad.
Egyptian Beetle shielding Matt
An unexpected gift from an Egyptian Statue... why thank you Egyptian Statue!
Ancient Macedonian Hola-Hoop
Typo in the British Museum... the second "Oliphant" is misspelled "Olpiphant" - Take THAT Britain!!
imitating the pot in the background
This Ship was made JUST to be a clock
Alright then, after the British Museum we headed over to Covant Garden for Dinner at an Italian Bistro... they had delicious food but played music like Sonny and Cher and then Aaron Neville and then Dean Martin... VERY ODD. After dinner we went to Leicester Square again and had Ice Cream. We were at the Hagan Das Ice Cream restaurant having our Ice Cream Fondu and we had finished, table cleared and everything and then we sat for like 30 minutes waiting for our check. I kept trying to get the attention of every waiter, but no one brought us a check. We didn't mind so much seeming as we were enjoying chatting, but then I noticed I hadn't seen our actual waiter in like a good 20 minutes, anywhere. Still no one acknowledged that we were there and so we figured, why not just leave. No one was gonna talk to us, we would just leave without paying... I know I know... just wait. So we are joking about leaving and then all of a sudden it became a serious thought and so Julie and Matt and I started putting on our coats... My heart was racing and I was so excited... this was gonna be hilarious!! So Julie leaves, Matt leaves and I'm following close behind... then I get three steps out the door and not two feet behind my right shoulder I hear a voice, "ma'am? did you pay?" UGH!!! I turned, "no, no one would look at us and our waiter hasn't been to our table in over 20 minutes. So we didn't know what to do..." I'm a terrible person. So I go back in and pay... Matt calls me because apparently he started running after he got out of the restaurant. This will teach me that no matter how hard I try, God will not let me be a criminal. HAHAHA!
Soon after that we called it a night. It was SO much fun all weekend. I can't wait to visit Matt in Manchester soon!